Things are moving quickly/slowly (depending on the day!) towards our leaving date. Today we got our International Drivers licenses. While not absolutely necessary, we plan on renting cars once in a while, so we are hoping that having our licenses translated, will help the rental process go through quicker.
We plan on exchanging our licenses for French ones. After 3 months residence, but before one year, we can apply for the exchange. France has a reciprocal exchange policy with several US states. In theory, we just bring in our licenses (along with a notarized translation) and they will send new French ones, which are good for 15 years. You must also be 21 and have had a license for at least 3 years – I think we both qualify there!
Driver’s licenses from the following states are eligible for exchange: Arkansas (limited to Class B), Colorado (limited to Class B), Connecticut (limited to Classes A and B), Delaware (limited to Class B), Florida (limited to Classes A and B), Illinois, Iowa (limited to Class B), Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio (limited to Class B), Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (limited to Classes A and B), South Carolina, Texas (limited to Class B), Virginia (limited to Class B), West Virginia.
If you are not from one of the above states, then you have to take the written tests and the driving portion, after one year.